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Her work in Brigadoon earned de Mille a Tony in 1947
Agnes de Mille works with John Curry in the 1980 revival of Brigadoon
De Mille was much in demand following Oklahoma!. yet many of the directors, producers and writers she worked with displayed a complete lack of regard or understanding for both the choreographer and her choreography. "They didn't hire me because they trusted me," de Mille maintains. "They hired me because I was a rage."
She expended an enormous amount of energy fighting to protect her work. For the 1944 show Bloomer Girl, which took place in 1861, she choreographed a "Civil War Ballet" that depicted fears of women whose men were off doing battle. But E. Y Harburg, the show's lyricist, did not want a serious ballet. "He said 'Women will cry. They'll scream. They'll faint,'" recalls de Mille. "I said, 'I don't think so. I'm a war wife, and I think wives will be glad that someone's paying attention.' And he asked me where the humor was- this was the week of the invasion of Normandy. I said 'You read the papers every morning. You tell me where the humor is.'"
De Mille did several versions of the ballet, but only composer Harold Arlen saw merit in her ideas. The night before the opening in Philadelphia, the producer informed her that the ballet had to go. She asked for one performance.
"There wasn't great applause when it was over," De Mille remembers. "I knew there wouldn't be. But one woman standing beside me took off her son's Navy wings and handed them to me. People were in tears. And even Harburg said 'I'm beginning to like the damn thing.'" Needless to say it became one of the high points of the show.
Among the other musicals de Mille choreographed were Carousel, Brigadoon, One Touch of Venus, Gentleman prefer Blondes and Paint Your Wagon. Her memorable dances for Brigadoon earned her a Tony Award in 1947, the first year awards were given (Michael Kidd also won for Finian's Rainbow). Kidd, Jack Cole and Robbins arrived on Broadway shortly after de Mille made her initial impact, and continued to explore and extend dance movements in musicals. Robbins, of course, redefined the parameters of dance in musicals with West Side Story and was also the first powerful director/ choreographer. He was followed by the likes of Gower Champion, Bob Fosse, Michael Bennett and Tommy Tune. All of these men had their own distinct voices, but none was ballet oriented; by the time they came of age, they had a variety of genres to draw from - Broadway, Hollywood, ballet and modern dance- and their styles were amalgams of many forms. Yet they all owe de Mille a debt of gratitude; her talent, her vision, her pursuit of truth paved the way for all of them.
Which show brought Chita Rivera a Tony? (a) West Side Story 9b0 The Rink (c)Bye Bye Birdie

Asia Series
For Japanese Children, dressing up can be a religious experience.
Understanding Asia means understanding its culture. For instance, if you're in Japan, and a lot of the little kids seem overdressed, chances are its the Schischi-Go-San (Seven-Five-Three) Festival. On November 15, girls age seven and three and boy ages five and three don their finest outfits and assemble at local Shinto shrines for promenading, photographing, and copious parental cooing. It's one of the many social events of Shintoism, "The way of the gods," once official state religion of Japan. Instead of dealing with metaphysical questions or issues of life and death, Shinto is what Japanese turn to for guidance in everyday matters. Visiting businessmen sometimes experience Shinto firsthand: new business ventures are often blessed by a visit to a Shinto shrine or priest.

Northwest notes.
We offer daily nonstop service to Japan from New York. That means there's sure to be a flight that's convenient for you. So you'll arrive rested and ready to work. And we offer something else no other U.S. airline can: the knowledge, insight and understanding that comes from over 40 years of helping people do business in Asia. For international reservations, call your travel agent or Northwest at 1-800-447-4747. To find out more about doing business sin Asia, just call 1-800-553-2215, ext. 186.

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